Upcoming Event

SCREEN TRADES: Note-Taking & Script Coordinating

May 25, 2024 10:00 am — Tickets FREE
8 Victoria Rd Parramatta

SCREEN TRADES is a project of ACE, supported by AWG, Screen NSW and Screenrights

First Break Presented by The Australian Writers' Guild (AWG), ACE and Screen NSW

What is First Break?

First Break is a series of three day-long workshops run by highly experienced, working writers. Covering note-taking, script coordinating and the basics of a writers’ room, participants will come away with the skills required to get that first break and begin their career in the film and television industry.

Event Details

When: Sat 25 May, Sat 1 June & Sat 8 June from 10 am – 3 pm.
Where: Arts & Cultural Exchange, 8 Victoria Rd Parramatta.

Applications are essential, full details can be found below.

Apply Here
AWG’s First Break ‘Note-Taking’ and ‘Script Coordinating’ workshops are a unique professional development program designed to give talented, aspiring screenwriters the opportunity to gain in-demand and practical skills, develop their understanding of the industry, and build industry connections. AWG and ACE are partnering for a second year to present the First Break workshops as part of the SCREEN TRADES program for early career partitioners from underrepresented communities in Western Sydney.


Working as a note-taker or script coordinator in a writers’ room has always been a great entry point to the industry. The trouble is, how do you gain the necessary skills to apply for these types of roles? And once you have the skills, how do you break in?


First Break is designed to provide participants with the skills, training and understanding to obtain work in these roles, get their start in the industry and build vital networks as they do.


At the conclusion of First Break, participants will be promoted to industry via the AWG Pathways website. The Pathways First Break tab will be a permanent resource for industry looking for talented new writers who have valuable skills to offer in writers’ rooms.


Workshop One – Note-taking


Saturday 25 May 2024 from 10am to 3pm
The role of the note-taker in a writers’ room is a crucial one – detailed and accurate notes can either make or break a room. Creating a perfect set of notes isn’t easy, and nailing it requires a different skillset to screenwriting. In this workshop, participants will learn the art of skilful note-taking – how to take notes, how to present them and how to make the most of the opportunity.


Workshop Two – Script Coordinating


Saturday 1 June 2024 from 10am to 3pm
During the filming of a television show or movie, the script is constantly evolving. A script coordinator monitors these changes and makes the appropriate revisions for each version of
the script. In this workshop, participants will learn what a script coordinator does, how a production office works and how a script coordinator operates within it. The workshop will also cover the basics of Final Draft.



Workshop Three – In the Writers’ Room


Saturday 8 June 2024 from 10am to 3pm
The writers’ room is where writers pitch ideas, brainstorm, break down the scenes, create characters and write first drafts. In order to succeed, it’s crucial to understand how a writers’ room works – who does what and when. This workshop will cover character development, plotting, dialogue and the all-important social etiquette of a writers’ room.





Competent note-takers and script coordinators are hard to find and are a valuable asset in a writers’ room.
Following the successful completion of these three workshops, each writer will be added to the Pathways website on the First Break tab.
The cohort will then be promoted to industry using the AWG’s multiple databases including its 10,000 subscribers to the AWG newsletter, its 600+ registered users of the Pathways portal (producers, directors, writers and industry professionals) and the 1200 subscribers to the Pathways Newsletter.
The Pathways First Break tab will be a permanent resource for industry looking for talented new writers who have valuable skills to offer in writers’ rooms.
First Break is funded by Screen NSW and forms part of the AWG’s ongoing, overall professional development strategy to nurture talent and provide opportunities to talented writers by connecting them with industry.





  • Applications open from 9am, 11 April 2024
  • Applications close at 5pm, 5 May 2024
  • Successful applicants will be announced 17 May 2024 · Workshops will be held in person at ACE, over three consecutive Saturdays (applicants must be able to attend each of the workshops on the set dates).





Submit a single PDF which includes:
  • Expression of Interest – 500 words maximum
    • Why I want this opportunity and how I will make the most of it.
  • One page bio – 500 words maximum
  • Writing Sample – maximum 5 pages
In preparing your application to First Break we encourage you to think carefully about the opportunity and how you might exhibit the skills the selection panel are looking for.
These skills include attention to detail (including proofreading and presentation), good computer skills and strong writing ability.
For example:
  • Applicants are asked to submit a single PDF containing EOI, bio and sample script. You should ensure you have done this.
  • You should observe maximum word counts.
Unfortunately, we are not able to provide individual feedback on entries. The selection panel’s decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the outcome.





Catherine Kelleher is an Eora/Sydney based screenwriter, filmmaker and recording artist. She spent her formative years as electronic pop artist Catcall, releasing an independent EP and several singles before her debut album The Warmest Place came out in 2012 via Ivy League Records. In 2013 Catherine moved into screenwriting and filmmaking; co-creating and writing the comedy web series The Casuals and writing, directing and producing the short film Big Bad World which screened at several local and international film festivals including Brooklyn Film Festival and St Kilda Film Festival. Catherine’s drama pilot was a finalist in the 2017 ATX Festival pitch competition, a top 10 finalist in the 2019 Final Draft Big Break competition and was selected for the 2020 Imagine Impact Australia program. Catherine previously worked in scripted development at Lingo Pictures supported by the Screen Australia Enterprise Program. She has released several Catcall singles since her debut album with 2017’s One Time, 2019’s One Desire and 2021’s Feel the Fear. Recently, Catherine directed a second short film IMOAN, a queer horror which recently screened at Outfest LA, SXSW Sydney, Brisbane International Film Festival, Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Mardi Gras Film Festival and was nominated for an Australian Writers’ Guild AWGIE Award. Catherine is currently the scripted development executive at SBS.


Terence McCarthy is a writer, development executive, script department manager and script editor with 15 years’ experience in the Australian and US film and television industry spanning feature film, drama, comedy, soap and children’s television. Terence is currently the Associate Script Editor for NCIS: Sydney Season 1 (CBSS/Paramount+/Endemol Shine Australia), where he also manages the Screen Australia Emerging Writers Programme. He is the script coordinator of choice for Academy Award winning director Ron Howard and screenwriter Bill Nicholson (13 Lives), Golden Globe nominated writers Harry & Jack Williams (The Tourist) and the International Emmy nominated Bevan Lee (A Place to Call Home, Packed to The Rafters). Terence has trained many script coordinators that have gone on to rise through the Australian television drama ranks as writers and script editors. In 2022, Terence worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as a Drama and Comedy Executive on In Our Blood and Total Control Series 3 amongst many other projects currently in development.

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